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My last game

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by WeirdoJoker, Dec 6, 2017 at 1:56 AM.

  1. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Hillsdale, Portland, Oregon
    How does one deal with the inability to accumulate cash? My last game, costs - especially unit maintenance costs - were through the roof no matter what I did.

    C3C
    Chieftain level
    Small map, Pangaea
    Russia vs. India, Celts, French, Egypt, Byzantines
    Republic and stayed there

    Would it help disbanding obsolete and non-upgradable units (e.g., Cavalry)?
     
  2. tjs282

    tjs282 Compressed Airhead

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,085
    Location:
    Under the waves, before love rescued me
    Part of the problem is that you're still playing at Chieftain, where the AI-Civs are all so crippled by their handicap (doubled cost for everything) that they can't afford to pay you for your techs, resources etc. and thus can't help support your empire, nor can they do effective research themsleves, thus forcing you to research everything for most of the game.

    Raise your level to Regent at least, and you might start finding things easier.

    Short answer: Yes.

    TLDR answer:

    Once you have a rail-net constructed, you can actually use Cav-disbands deliberately, as a means of transferring productivity from your core to your periphery: Build 1-turn Cavs (or Arty or Infs or Tanks) in your Factory-cities, then disband them in your outer towns, so you get 20-25 shields towards their current projects. For example, 1 Cav-disband will put instant Walls in a coastal Pop1-6 farm*, and 4 Cavs (or 3 Tanks plus a chop) will get you a Courthouse in any semi-core town that doesn't have one yet.

    But I have to ask: If you have a large stack of 'obsolete' Cavalry (or Cossacks, as Russia) sitting around, then why haven't you just gone out and killed everyone already? Chieftain AI-Civs are so pitiful that you could probably have knocked off all your neighbours using Swords and/or Horsemen before the end of the Ancient Age — and even on a Small Cont/Arch map, it wouldn't have been very difficult to reach and take down the neighbouring island(s) using Knights**. And are you still building mega-piles of defensive-units? If so, stop doing that, as well, it's totally unnecessary -- especially at Chieftain.

    As a (warmongering) Republic, you get no military police, so there's no benefit to keeping (defensive) units in your core. So especially post-Steam and RepParts, it's much more econonomical to follow the 'hard crust, soft centre' doctrine, where you defend your border-towns 'heavily' (i.e. 1-2 defenders at most), but leave your inner cities mostly ungarrisoned, apart from a rapid-reaction force of your best attack-plus-bombardment-units (actual unit-types and numbers dependent on map-size, your Civ-size, number of potentially dangerous AI-Civs still on the map, tech-level, etc.), which can be instantly despatched along your rail-net to deal with any incursions.

    Provided you've not signed RoPs with any AI-Civs sharing your land-borders, this strategy is perfectly safe, up to at least Monarch/Emperor level. If you do have RoPs, and/or railways, then not so much — but 1-2 Infs per valuable (core) city — e.g. your Capital, FP-, Wonder-, and Strat.Res-cities — should suffice to defend against AI sneak-attacks, since they tend to send their units in 1 at a time, and their first attack will break the RoP.

    *
    Spoiler Did we talk about gold-/beaker-farming already? :
    This is a means of extracting much more value out of your corrupt fringe towns (e.g. the ones you've taken from the more distant AI-Civs on your continent!) than the 1 gold + 1 shield that they would otherwise provide: it wasn't so powerful in Vanilla, but with the increased Specialist-outputs in Conquests, it can be really worth doing.

    You place your farm-towns preferentially on tiles giving 0-1 food (Hills, Deserts, Tundra), packing them as tightly as possible ('Infinite City Sprawl', CxC), then (chop,) irrigate and rail all the adjacent Grass, Plains, and Food-bonus terrain for maximum food output. A town working 3 railed+irrigated Grassland makes 14 food (4 per Grassland, 2 from the city), which is enough to support 6 citizens (if no Aqueduct/freshwater) and spin off Workers/Settlers from the excess food; the other 3 citizens can therefore be made into either Taxmen (for an extra 6 gold per turn per gold-farm) or Scientists (for an extra 9 beakers per turn per beaker-farm). Similarly, a Grassland-farm with access to freshwater could easily grow to Pop12, with 6–7 citizens working as Specialists (i.e. 12-14 gold or 18-21 beakers). So fifty Pop6 farms would give you 600-700 gold or 900-1050 beakers per turn (not to mention supporting an extra 50 free units, saving you 100 gold in maintenance), which would probably also go along way towards fixing your gold-shortage...

    NB unless your Civ is Agricultural, Desert-farms aren't worth irrigating — apart from Oases — so the lone citizen in such towns can just become a Specialist. 'Pure' Tundra farms generally can't get bigger than Pop1, either, unless there's an adjacent Game-tile. In general, farm-towns should not get any buildings — except maybe Walls along your borders, or perhaps a Harbour, in a coastal farm which can work a Fish-tile.

    **
    Spoiler Paternal bragging :
    I just got done coaching my 2 sons (aged 8 and 10) to their first Chieftain-level conquest-wins on Tiny Pan-maps. I helped the younger more extensively (English is his father-tongue: he speaks it, but doesn't read it fluently yet), and he used nothing more advanced than Legionaries for most of his conquering (he also built/upgraded some Knights at the end, just for fun: he didn't use them). I left the older [aged 10] more to his own devices, and he went as far as RepParts (he'd built nearly all the GWonders up to that point as well!), but could have won much earlier with his massive force of Horsemen and Ancient Cavalry.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 9:25 AM
    Nathiri likes this.
  3. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Hillsdale, Portland, Oregon
    Basically, I'm giving myself one more go at Chieftain, on a standard map, then going back to Warlord. (And all the Civs I'm playing are Militaristic, so that should be interesting.)

    I didn't have so much trouble getting paid for things ... rather, it was paying for things. I was resource-poor later in the game ... had to start a war to get coal, then again (with the same AI-Civ) to get oil, and was never able to trade for aluminum or capture any just due to where it was on the map. (Would have started another war for aluminum, except they had MPPs and I didn't.)

    The AI-Civ actually were advancing technologically not too far behind me, and due to money and resources actually beat me to a couple things, so my Cavs ended up not being too useful for fighting. Even my Tanks were not doing so well attacking TOW Infantry (generally speaking), but like against like worked better. Besides, I really wasn't going for a Conquest victory, so I didn't think of it in terms of attacking unless I had to (which ultimately happened). I was going for Space Race or, as ultimately happened, Cultural.

    The most annoying thing was fighting a war allied with the French against a couple other Civs, then having them declare war on me almost immediately after the war was over (I guess the RoP/MPP was over at that point - I didn't bother checking).

    I had lots of defensive and offensive units. I admit it did not occur to me to simply produce Wealth instead of multiplying units, which I probably should have done, given the numbers I was dealing with. That probably would have made some things easier.

    Very nice!
     
  4. tjs282

    tjs282 Compressed Airhead

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,085
    Location:
    Under the waves, before love rescued me
    Yeah, getting Rocketry (or Fission), and only then finding out that you don't have the Alu (or Uranium) needed for your Ship, can be a right pain in the ar-... er, butt. So for the Space win, to ensure that you have at least one source of each Strat-Res within your territory, it's therefore almost imperative to control a large part of the land area, ideally with a mixture of all the possible terrain types, (long) before you reach the techs which reveal the Modern resources appear, i.e. (early) warfare and expansionism is still very important for this VC.

    Spoiler Random musing, with a spot of self-promotion :
    For a Space-win, I would aim to own maybe 45-50% of the land by the late Industrial (don't want to get too near 66%, because that risks a Domination-win—especially if I build TheInternet — the free Research Labs will pop all outer borders 5T later). On a Continental map, controlling that much land will almost certainly require full ownership of the starting continent (and possibly more, depending on Map- and landmass-size). On Pan-maps, I usually go for Conquest/Domination anyway, so controlling 'only' half the landmass for an intended Space-win, would simply require selecting some appropriately placed and preferably easily fortifiable border-zones (e.g. chokepoints, mountain ranges and rivers), and then prioritising development of the territory captured to that point, over further conquest.

    Arch-maps are a somewhat different beast: Small 60% Archipelagoes tend to end up with landbridges/ chokepoints between the 'islands', so feel more like (Small) Continental maps. And although I've won a Space-race on such a map (Koreans, Emperor), that game wasn't anywhere close to optimised: I didn't launch until 1918! (See the 'pRNGods' link in my sig if your interested; the Korean game starts near the bottom of page 2). As for 70-80% Arch-maps, I've never deliberately chosen to play on these (I've rolled a few randomly, but those games rarely turned out well for me...). I would imagine that you'd probably need to colonise 1-2 'core' islands (where you do all your production, and raise most of your revenue), and then capture (and farm) enough additional islands for the 50% land-control (and the beakers). Due to the much longer total border than you'd have on an equivalent-landmass Cont/Pan map, though, garrisoning and guarding each farm-island would likely be (much) more expensive in terms of military upkeep, at least until Airfields allowed instant/easy movements of the rapid-reaction defence-force(s) between islands.

    Grabbing roughly half the map earlier on, will also slow down the AI-Civs' research (at least, the ones you leave alive — maybe spare the SCI-Civs...?), since each of them will then have that much less territory to colonise/exploit — which in turn allows you to milk them of whatever cash they can scrape together, by selling them your obsolete techs and spare resources.
    Also, bear in mind that Strat- and Lux-resources are spawned in proportion to the number of Civs on the map at the start of the game, and in Conquests, there are almost always fewer of each resource-type than there are Civs (IIRC, it averages at roughly 0.75 sources per resource-type per Civ; this was one of the more subtle changes from Vanilla, where it was closer to 1 source per type per Civ). So even if you always use max. opponents, Tiny-Small maps = 4-6 Civs = 3-4 sources per type if you're lucky, making it that much less likely that you'll have what you need near your Civ's spawn-point, or even easily accessible — as opposed to being stuck on some useless 2-tile Tundra-island (which also tend to occur more often on Small/Tiny maps, especially 70-80%-water maps), and thus likely non-hookable/-exhaustible until late in the game. Playing on larger, warmer, maps thus somewhat mitigates the resource-scarcity-due-to-icebound/insular-remoteness problem, since such resource-tiles tend to represent a smaller percentage of the total.
    :thumbsup: You're doing better than me then, because I've never yet won a Culture-vic, at any level! Tried for a 100K once with the Vanilla-Babs on a Standard 70% Continents at Regent, but couldn't even manage that (bloomin' French already reached >50K) — so I went to Space instead...! :lol:
    Inter-AI MPPs can be awkward, but I'm pretty sure we've already covered how to deal with them: find out who your target's mutual protectors are, form your own MPPs with those Civs only, then DoW your target but don't attack them yet: instead, allow them to win a 'harmless' battle (e.g. capturing one of your Workers, which you 'accidentally' left near their border), which will cause all their former 'friends' to DoW them on your behalf.

    If you've prepared ahead of time, you should be able to mop up most of your target's territory — including their resource-tiles — within a couple of turns, before your 'allies' do. You will need sufficiently large stacks of Workers to build 1-turn railways to your new acquisitions, disposable 'combat-Settlers' to found 'forward operating bases' to extend your borders towards the most highly Cultured target-town(s), and enough additional fast attackers to take advantage of those rails+bases, to keep the front moving forwards (but keep your 1-move Infs, Marines, TOWs and Artillery within your borders/on your rails, to take out any incoming).
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 6:30 AM
  5. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Hillsdale, Portland, Oregon
    So I discovered. My new game is all militaristic, with me playing Germany for the science, on a standard-size P map. Expanding has been challenging, but at least defense of Berlin will not be so hard as it is surrounded by mountains, and I have tons of extra gems to trade.

    If I don't want to get a particular victory (or, especially, loss), I just disable that particular VC. I started doing that ever since I got stuck with a surprise diplomatic defeat, even though I'd have won the SR (IIRC).

    I generally hate Arch maps. In one game, which I suppose was more continents than archipelago, I played Russian and won the SR without no wars whatsoever. I felt particularly good about that one, though naturally it does not always work.

    However, in a more recent continents game, playing Russia (no, I don't do that all that often ... I just happen to remembering those games for some reason ... not even among my favorite Civs to play) on a small map, I was stuck in a basically all-tundra continent with so few resources - to use or trade - that I just retired from the game and rebooted with the same opponents but on pangaea.

    I had not really thought about this. I thought it was just basically random. However, in that last game, I was the only one with no alum, and the one AI-Civ that had extra refused to trade for it (and I had nothing to give anyway).

    In the last game, I hit the 20K city, but would have hit the 80K in another couple turns, anyway. One victory I've never managed or tried was Diplo. (Of course, now there's this other stuff in Conquests that I have not explored yet...)

    Yes, we did. By the time I thought of it, I realized I was sufficiently behind in tech and close enough to a cultural victory that I abandoned the SR idea altogether and went cultural. I did, however, almost build a city in Egypt's territory (thus declaring war), then giving the city to the French so I could trade for the oil, but then noticed that India was much closer with its oil supply so I just DoW vs. India, made a beeline for its oil city, then mopped up the rest with relative ease. (The French got one city, but it culturally flipped to me a couple turns later, anyway.)

    I had not thought of a "combat-settler" before, but that does make sense for next time, given the opportunity.
     
  6. tjs282

    tjs282 Compressed Airhead

    Joined:
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    Germany is pretty much tailor-made for a Space win: Militaristic for aggressive early expansion, and Scientific for the cheap Libs and Unis in all the land you'll have captured; those traits also give lots of possible GA-triggering Wonder-combos (e.g. Colossus + GWalls, or Colossus + SunTzu), for when you start building those (Ducts + Courthouses +) Libs + Unis in the Middle Ages.

    But I would hope you'll be able to expand Berlin's borders much further out than its adjacent(?) Mountains! :eek:
    That always kind of feels like cheating for me, since the AI isn't really 'good' at any VCs except Conquest/Domination (and maybe Space, at Emp+). I don't remember ever being Culturally defeated in an epic game (up to Emp), and Diplo-losses can/should always be entirely avoidable (at least at Chieftain-Regent) by building the UN yourself, allowing you to control whether or not an election is held (and possibly salvaging a victory if a Space-win looks like being untenable for whatever reason)—and at Emp+, any AI-Civs still remaining at the beginning of the Modern Age tend to hate each other so much, that the elections almost always get cancelled anyway, no matter who built the UN!

    So I always leave all the default VCs turned on in my games. But each to his own, I guess...
    Diplo's basically a Science-victory for people who'd rather play more nicely with the AI-Civs than is required for a Space-win, or whose expansion has been rather more limited by the map than they'd have preferred (e.g. maybe if they started on a smallish Continent, or on an Arch-map). I've done it a couple of times, but it's kind of a 'cheap' way to win, because the way the AI-Civs vote depends entirely on their attitudes to the candidate Civ-Leaders on the turn of the Election only, which — provided the human player has built up a reasonably strong economy (and/or has kept his trade-rep intact) — makes them laughably easy to manipulate.

    Basically all you have to do is (build the UN) and then gift (i.e. bribe!) a sufficient majority of AI-Civs up to Polite or Gracious on the turn before an election is possible (i.e. the turn before the UN is built, and then every 11T thereafter), so that they vote for you, rather than your most likely rival. Just signing an MPP+RoP is often enough to do this, but an obsolete Tech or a Lux (or 2) won't be sniffed at either. And if you 're already at war with — or simultaneously declare war on — the other UNGS-candidate(s) to make all your new friends 'Furious' with him — your election's pretty much a shoo-in.
    AFAIK, the 'new' VCs (victory-points, regicide, wonders, etc.) and game rules (e.g. accelerated production) were actually introduced in PlayTheWorld, because they're primarily intended for Multiplayer games, to make them shorter. No 'new' VCs were added to the default Conquests solo epic-game rules, as such: the only 'change' I know about was to re-jig the Civ-wide Culture-limits to depend on Map-size (on the grounds that in Vanilla, it was a helluva lot easier/quicker to get 100K on a Huge than a Tiny Map!).

    If you want to explore the new VCs, I'd recommend having a go at the Firaxis Conquests-Scenarios, which can all be played solo, and do each use some of the new VCs (as well as or inplace of the 'default' VCs). So far, I've played/ won:
    • 'Mesopotamia' — uses Victory-points (based on enemy units killed, towns founded and/or total population-points grown, Wonders built, etc.), and the Wonder-Victory (winner = Civ with the highest score when the last GWonder — usually the GLight — has been built)
    • 'Sengoku' — uses Regicide (sending Stealthy, Invisible, Hidden Nationality Ninjas to assassinate your neighbouring Shoguns is great fun!)
    • 'Rise of Rome' — uses Histograph/ Victory-points
    • 'Fall of Rome' — uses Mass Regicide (or Elimination, can't remember which)
    • 'Mesoamerica' — uses VPs (including Sacrifices!)
    • 'Three Sisters' — uses Capture the Princess/Sacrifices
    If you're running a Republic, then you can cash-rush Settlers(Foreign) out of captured towns (after all the Resistors are quelled), and then keep them in reserve (maybe in your Capital) until you need them — they cost no unit-maintenance. As an added bonus, you get rid of most of those troublesome foreigners, without necessarily having to starve them out.

    Production costs are max. 160 gold (1 'short-rushed' Worker = 80 gold + 80 gold for the other 20 shields; takes 1T), 1 shield + 116 gold (takes 2T), or 1 Forest-chop + 60-80 gold (takes 1-5T, depending on whether the Forest is roaded, and/or how many Workers/Slaves do the chopping).
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017 at 10:28 AM

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